Survey Finds Pennsylvania AARP Members Back Critical Provisions of Health Care Reform Legislation

November 16, 2009

HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A new poll of Pennsylvania AARP members released today finds strong support across party and ideological lines for elements of health care reform included in the Affordable Health Care for America Act, which recently passed the House of Representatives. The bill, which strictly limits how much more insurance companies can charge based on age and closes the Medicare prescription drug doughnut hole, was endorsed by AARP.

Among AARP members, strong majorities reported that many of the bill’s key provisions were convincing reasons to support the legislation. These include strictly limiting insurers from charging much higher premiums because of age (72%), closing the gap in Medicare’s prescription drug coverage known as the doughnut hole (72%) and improving coverage for critical preventive services like cancer screenings (79%).

“This survey demonstrates what we’ve been hearing from our members for a long time,” said AARP Pennsylvania State Director Dick Chevrefils. “Despite an inflammatory debate on a very personal and important issue, our members — across party and ideological lines — support health care reform that protects Medicare, lowers the price of prescription drugs, increases their access to coverage and protects their choice of doctors.”

While a partisan divide was evident when respondents were asked about the current plan in Congress, Pennsylvania AARP members supported the legislation by more than a two to one margin (63%-27%).

Other reform elements with high levels of support among Pennsylvania AARP members included ensuring Americans can see the doctor of their choice (81%), stopping insurance companies from denying coverage because of a person’s health history (78%) and ensuring Americans can keep their current coverage (80%).

Chevrefils added: “The bill recently passed by the House incorporates the reforms that our members care most about. We’ll continue the fight for these critical elements as the Senate takes up its own legislation in the coming weeks. Our members, and all older Americans, are counting on lawmakers to reform the health care system this year.”

Starting on Tuesday, November 17th, AARP will launch a new national television ad on a mix of news, lifestyle, cable and sports channels. The ad, entitled “HELP,” demonstrates that people from all walks of life are feeling stranded by the current health care system. It calls attention to the need for the kind of health care reform AARP has been fighting for: reform that will put patients first, protect Medicare, bring down drug costs and ensure that no one can be denied affordable health care because of their age or health history.

AARP Pennsylvania surveyed its members from October 30 to November 8, 2009 about the current health care reform plan in the House of Representatives. The survey of 421 is representative of AARP members in the state of Pennsylvania and has a margin of error of +/- 4.8%.

AARP has 1.9 million members in Pennsylvania. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world’s largest-circulation magazine with over 35.5 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP’s nearly 40 million members and Americans 50+; AARP Segunda Juventud, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, www.AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

SOURCE AARP Pennsylvania

Source: newswire

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